Mayor's Charity of the Year

The new Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Councillor Barbara Fitzsimon, has chosen the Welwyn Hatfield Women's Refuge as her charity for the year.

The Mayor, Councillor Barbara Fitzsimon.

The charity offers temporary, crisis accommodation and support service in the borough for women, with or without children, fleeing domestic violence and abuse.

As an independent charity, WHWR provides a 24/7 service, 365 days of the year. This includes safe accommodation, safeguarding and safety planning, information and practical support with claiming benefits, seeking legal help, as well as help with schools, doctors, the police and mental health counselling. The team also provides advice about safe resettlement for women and children escaping domestic violence. 

Mayor, Cllr Fitzsimon, said:

This charity is close to my heart, and one I've had a close relationship with. The team gives tireless support on both a practical and emotional level, including crisis counselling. With the increased isolation that families living in an abusive household have experienced because of the Covid pandemic, this is such a vital service, now more than ever. I'm proud to be raising funds for them, so please keep an eye out for events coming up.

Denise Fenn, CEO of the Welwyn Hatfield Women's Refuge, said:

The refuge aims to support women and their children to achieve positive outcomes with improved life chances by giving them the tools and empowerment to do so.  We hope to see residents in settled accommodation when they move on, finding jobs and rebuilding their lives. We are delighted to be the Mayor's chosen charity and look forward to working with Mayor, Cllr Fitzsimon on upcoming fundraising events.


WHWR is one of the very few refuges in the country with an onsite trauma informed education centre and creche. This is funded by the BBC CIN, Freemasons and Awards for All, through the National Lottery.

During the last financial year, WHWR provided safe accommodation and services to 38 women and 48 children, with approximately 40 women in the resettlement & outreach programme.

Information and contact details for the refuge can be found at

If you are in immediate danger dial 999 for the POLICE.